Own goal costly for Wearsiders
Sunderland slipped to 16th after an own goal was the difference between the Champions-elect and the Black Cats, who are struggling for form in the league.
The first chance of the game fell to Utd United as young left back, Alex Buttner, who has already netted a goal from defence this season, marauded forward and drilled into the Sunderland defence. His run went all the way through to Mignolet and the Belgian had to be alert to save the close range shot with his legs.
However, after 27 minutes, the Red Devils made the breakthrough. Robin Van Persie, who has been in electric form for the men 15 points clear, netted the goal. On the left, RVP looked to be going nowhere because of tight marking from Phil Bardsley but the Dutchmen showed his class by beating the ex-United full back and firing a shot towards the goal. It was just going wide but in his attempt to block the ball, Titus Bramble deflected the ball into his own net.
Manchester United could have been 3-0 up at half time but Simon Mignolet thwarted to set pieces from Ashley Young and RVP. After catching Young’s free kick, the latter’s proved a stronger test for the Belgian. In swinging from the right, RVP was going for the far top corner but Mignolet was there to palm over the ball.
Into the second half, the Lads pressed but couldn’t create a chance. Instead, it was the impressive Buttner who had a good shot that threatened to double the 19 time champion’s lead. However, Mignolet palmed the ball away.
In stoppage time, Sunderland managed to get their first shot on target. Substitute Connor Wickham managed to swivel and get a shot away, but it was no test to De Gea. The best chance of the game fell to Utd in the final minute of stoppage time. Ashley Young broke from the left and was through on goal and . He played a ball across goal to RVP and most would have bet their house change in order toon the striker to score. Despite his normal ruthlessness, Simon Mignolet spread himself and blocked the ball as the final whistle went.